First you must assess yourself. You should have read the guidelines, rules and regulations from the sanction you chose to compete in to know what the judges are looking for. Another way to have a good idea is to view a fitness tape form someone who has been in a show, or order one from online. Critique yourself from head to toe. Use a full-length mirror and get feedback from your trainer to help to determine your overall symmetry, muscle tone, and definition. Determine your strengths and weaknesses, and put those into your training program to help to balance your overall package.
If you haven't worked out in a while, make sure you go through a conditioning training phase first, to better help to prepare your muscles for a more intense training program. Incorporate strength, endurance and flexibility training into your program. Remember that you will be putting together a routine that must reflect those three things, and you will need to train with those things as your ultimate goal. Your physical appearance should also reflect those things as well. When you are standing in front of the judges in a swimsuit line-up, your body will be scrutinized from head to toe. You want to appear feminine, strong, toned, defined with tight firm lines, even, and symmetrical with reasonable levels of body-fat that projects a healthy and fit body. The judges frown at striations and cuts too deep, as well as a physique that is too smooth with little definition and tone. They also frown at levels of body-fat too high. You don't want to jiggle when you walk out on stage. Your body must be in proper proportion to your height, with a V-Taper from your shoulders down to your waist. Glutes and legs must be tight with very small levels of body-fat, and in proper proportion from your feet to your waist. The judges want to see the definitions in your abdomen, but not to the level of a bodybuilder, and they will frown at any pudge that lingers around the lower abdomen. Make sure your entire body is tight and firm. Getting the formula that is best for your individual body type comes with trial and error. But believe me, you will get it right. Your body should be in peak performance at least two weeks out, so that you can deplete and load before your show. You cannot wait until the last minute to get it together. Your body may not react the way you intended it to, and you may end up showing too cut or too smooth, drawn out, tired or flat. You do not want to project an unhealthy appearance, so plan well.
Set your goals and stick to them everyday. Stay focused on your objective. DO NOT OVERTRAIN. Design your program around your job and family time. Remember to get adequate amounts of rest, and also remember to have some fun as well, so that the stress from training and diet can be released. It is also very important that you have a wonderful support system through friends, family, and co-workers to be there for you and encourage you when and if the stress from training and diet starts to take its toll, as well as being there for you when you go to your first show.
Keep it fun. Stay focused and confident. When you walk out on stage for the first time all of your hard work will shine, and you will know that you're going to kick butt.
TRAIN FOR SUCCESS!!!
Look for these things in self-assessment for training:
*Underweight? By how much?
*Overweight? By how much?
*Muscle Tone? Can I see anything?
*How strong am I? Can I do a Push-Up, Pull-Up, Handstand, Pike Hold?
*What is my flexibility level? Can I side-split, middle-split, high kick?
*What is my energy level? Will I be able to sustain a strenuous fast-paced routine that must look effortless?
*Do I look fit at level appropriate to compete against others?
*Do I have enough confidence?
*Do I project flair and style?
*What are my strengths?
*What are my weaknesses?
*How is my attitude? Will I project well to an audience?
*Will I need a trainer, dance coach, gymnastics coach, a choreographer, Etc?
*How much time do I want to devote to training for a fitness competition.
This is how my training schedule looked when I first started to compete. It has changed over the years, but this will give you an informed idea.
6 Months Out:
Cardio: 4-5x per week for 30 to 45 min. Morning/Evening Sessions
Strength Training: 4-5x per week. 60 min.
Weight Training: 5x per week working one/two muscle groups per session.
Flexibility Training: 7 days 30-45 min.
Gymnastics Training: 2x per week 60 min.
Routine Training: 3x per week 60 - 120 min.
Rest: 24 Hour Period of 1-2x per week as needed
3 Months Out:
Cardio: As Needed for Extra Caloric Expenditure Morning/Evening Sessions
Strength Training: 5-6x per week 45min.
Weight Training: 3x per week/Interval Training 45 min.
Flexibility Training: 7 Days per week 30-45 min.
Gymnastics Training: 2x per week 60 min.
Routine Training: 4x per week 60 - 90 min.
Rest: 24 Hour Period of 1-2 x per week as needed